Fundraising. General student recruiting. OU’s profile in the state of Texas.
OU president David Boren gave a quick statement when informed of Stoops’ comments: “We value our relationship with Texas and the rivalry.”
Stoops pointed out that OU-Nebraska once was among the nation’s most storied rivalries, but the series wasn’t played annually after the formation of the Big 12 and now isn’t played at all, since the Huskers left for the Big Ten.
“A lot of things change,” Stoops said. “All of a sudden we weren't playing Nebraska every year. And now they're gone. We're still here. Life goes on.
“People find other rivalries and other fun places to go, enjoy the game, enjoy the experience. I think it's obvious we'll always have a great product that's exciting to follow. And we always have great TV audiences. Whatever happens, we'll adjust to it.”
But OU-Nebraska, even in its heyday, was only about football and championships. OU-Texas is about much, much more.
“I wasn’t there to hear Bob’s comment,” OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said. “but it’s certainly obvious that many people place great value on our rivalry with Texas.”